Category Archives: Yes to Family

Father’s Day

My Dad passed away 12 years ago and I miss him still.  At certain moments, I miss him so much it makes me sob like a baby.  It might be in the middle of the grocery store or while watching a commercial or making dinner.   Often, it’s when we are on vacation.  Vacation reminds me of my childhood.  I look at my children and I wish they knew him.  I see grandpas with kids and I wish he was there with his grace and his humor and his charm.  His eyes sparkled and his confidence was never shaken.  He was a man who was comfortable in his skin and when he was on your side, the world was your oyster.   

My dad was warm, funny, intelligent, and kind.   He was steady and calm.  His advice for a happy life was to work hard, go to church, and love your family.  I love the quote by Leonardo Da Vinci that says “Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.”  My dad was sophisticated.  He was classy, loyal, and reliable. 

My dad was a Marine in World War II.  This meant our shoes were always shined and we were fined a dollar if we didn’t wear a belt!!  I cringe to think of what he would say about all the young people with their “pants on the ground” today.  I wish I had asked more about the war.  I wish I knew what it was like and how it changed him. 

One time I told my dad I wanted to marry someone like him because, “You know everything.”  And he said, “Oh, no, honey, you want to make sure someone marries you because YOU know everything.”  Good advice, don’t you think? 

Thanks Dad.  Thanks for talking to me and listening to me and telling me I’m beautiful and smart.  Thanks for thinking I could get into Northwestern (his alma mater) even though there wasn’t even a sliver of a chance that would happen.  Thanks for working hard for our family and for taking us to church.  Thanks for loving mom and disciplining us (mostly my brothers).  Thank you for showing me my own worth, for holding a mirror up to me so I could see what you see.  Thank you for being simple, grateful, faithful, and kind.  I know that you are with God in Heaven and I know when you arrived, He said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  Well done, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day!

Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day.  In church, they did something special and had a mother stand up and say a few words about mothers.  It prompted me to imagine what I would say if I was asked to speak about mothers. 

I would say I’ve known many great mothers.  I have been blessed greatly by own mother.  She is positive, kind, giving, encouraging, loving, and helpful.  She has a great spirit, she loves God and people, she shows up, she hugs, she laughs, she’s reliable.  She brightens a room and knows what to say and feels deeply and is loyal and trustworthy.  She continues to be an amazing example of love. 

Besides my own mom, I have known many other mothers.  I’ve known many women who are strong, courageous, determined and intelligent.  Women who won’t take no for an answer and won’t accept “I can’t” from a child.  These women hold other women up with their wisdom and understanding.  Some of these women (you know who you are) have rescued me from the abyss of self doubt.  These are women who get things done, who smile when they want to cry, who make a meal, lend a hand, and listen for hours.  These mothers love their husbands, appreciate their kids and pray to God.  These women tell me it’s normal to have a pre-teen slam a door in your face and that the rejection will one day replaced by gratitude.  Women who understand IEPs and speech and OT and PT and can recommend Doctors and after all of that, will bring you a cup of coffee and just LISTEN.  These women nod their head in understanding and offer a glass of wine, a good book, and some chocolate.

These women are present, aware, interested and interesting.  These women are willing to learn, to grow, to share.  These women are grown ups who are not perfect and aren’t trying to be.  These women accept their own imperfections and embrace yours and they understand their own strengths and they celebrate yours. These women look into your eyes and see your heart and root for you.   These are women who grace the world we live in with POWER, women who ENCOURAGE and ACCEPT not only all children, but ALL WOMEN.  Women who know life isn’t perfect but they love it anyway.  Women who show up, laugh, love deeply and make my life so much richer.  Thank you for being one of these women. 

Happy Mother’s Day!